Letters: 12/1/16

Wikimedia Commons

Watch out for Tom Harris

The letter by Tom Harris recently published in the Weekly was part of a misinformation campaign organized by the right wing Heartland Institute, which in turn is supported by the coal industry, ALEC, the Koch brothers and others. Their purpose is to cast doubt on the climate disruptions that we are now experiencing.  The rest of the world knows very well that climate change is real and that it poses a major threat; the U.S. is the only country where there remains confusion and doubt, thanks to the right-wing climate denial campaign.

In his letter, Harris praises Trump for his dismissal of climate change, and cites Heartland Institute’s “Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).”  This is a fake organization meant to imitate IPCC, a legitimate international body.

I Googled his name, and found a long list of similar letters that appeared in newspapers in the U.S., Canada, Japan, the Philippines, Sydney, New Zealand, Argentina and elsewhere.  He sends out a constant stream of these climate denial letters, sometimes claiming a bogus Ph.D.

So keep this in mind when you come across climate denial material such as Harris’.

Arden Buck/Nederland

Man-made climate change is real

The letter from Tom Harris, “ A Climate Realist” (Nov. 17) praises Trump’s do-nothing approach to climate change and says, “The NIPCC shows that much of what we thought we knew about climate is either mistaken or highly debatable.”

What’s the NIPCC? It’s a front for the fossil fuel industry that’s named so that it sounds like the IPCC, the world’s most highly respected authority of climate change, which says anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is real and an existential threat.

Harris is a paid spokesperson for the fossil fuel industry. He’s a “co-sponsor” of The Heartland Institute which receives millions from the largest fossil fuel corporations in the U.S. and their “co-sponsors” have collectively received over $67 million from the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil, according to DeSmog Blog.

There is now 100 percent scientific consensus on AGW according a Harvard study. Another study from the National Physical Sciences Consortium, published earlier this year, shows that out of all the peer-reviewed climate science papers published in the past two years, over 24,000 of them, there is over 99.9 percent scientific consensus on AGW.

Harris has no scientific training and is not a scientist, much less a climate scientist. He’s a mechanical engineer turned PR man for the fossil fuel industry. His main job to pretend he is the “executive director” of a scientific institute, the impressive-sounding International Climate Science Coalition (which is non existent) and to write letters to the editor from Canada to papers all over the U.S. casting doubt on climate science. He regularly attacks the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a nationwide, nonprofit grassroots organization that is working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee bill passed in Congress. If that happened, Harris’ checks would stop coming.

Why is Boulder Weekly publishing letters from a shill for the fossil fuel corporations that contain patent falsehoods? The duty of the press is to inform the public not to misinform them.

Pete Kuntz/Denver

Editor’s note: We don’t censor our letter writers, even the ones we completely disagree with. We put them in a section of the paper that makes it clear it is the opinion of the letter writer, not the paper. 

Miracle of the Caribbean

When Fidel Castro overthrew the corrupt Batista dictatorship that had impoverished the Cuban people, he was hailed as a modern hero by the media. As it became apparent that he intended to build an egalitarian society that directed the labor and resources of the island for the benefit of all Cubans rather than for the profit of an elitist few, this initial praise turned into alarm. American sugar conglomerates, oil refineries and mob-run casinos no longer had open access. This was clearly an un-American, Marxist development in the Western Hemisphere, which could not be tolerated. For nearly 60 years, against all odds, the Castro government has survived trade embargoes, assassination attempts, a bungled CIA-backed military invasion and the collapse of support from the Soviet Union and Venezuelan oil. It has not been a bed of roses for Cuba. Mankind has never shown itself to be more than marginally able to manage its darker impulses, which brings up two intriguing questions: Will Donald Trump, riding in on a wave of populist anger and promising law and order, greater prosperity and radical institutional change, turn out to be America’s Fidel Castro? And will conservatives finally see the establishment of their libertarian paradise?

Robert Porath/Boulder

Open letter to City Council

In light of recent political events and clear threats to immigrant and minority members in our community, I would like to ask that you declare Boulder to be a sanctuary city. In keeping with that I would like to suggest that the city works with churches, synagogues, religious groups and civic groups to facilitate the set up of a network of safe houses within the community and to give our police the duty to protect minorities, immigrants and the safe houses within our community.

Donna Bonetti/Boulder

Previous articleThe context of classics
Next articleThe survivor’s tale